We’ve got an exceptional amount of snow on the ground right now for the Appalachians, with piles on the side of the road up to my hip. I like to ski, but I’m dreaming of dirt. We briefly had a few days of warmer weather reaching into the 40’s where a lot of snow melted on the southern facing slopes, exposing bands of what I can only remember to be dirt. Those days of warm, just so happened to coincide with approval to start scouting out a new project for Heart of the Highlands Trail, a local non-profit that I contract to. Any chance I get to be involved in the trail building process really gets me excited. It’s gives me the reward of a great event, but with a reward that lasts with the trail.
So Lona and I have been post-holing, snowshoeing, and skiing all over the mountain, exploring a massive quantity of existing logging grades as well as all the spaces in between. Snow falling from twisted branches, as we bust through thickets of young birch growth. Clamoring over fallen tree tops, hoping that my skis don’t slip, we searched out, recorded, and more or less memorized the canvas of frozen soil that’s hidden under all our snow. We are building a case for why build the better route and not opt for the option more easily approved. Once you build your case, explain all your findings, and submit your report……its out of your hands. Either way it’s going to be a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. Our fingers and paws will be crossed until we get the final approval to dip the shovels in the dirt.